Biotechnology Track

The biotechnology track in biology is designed primarily for students who wish to work in research and development at biotechnology companies. However, this track also provides training for work as a laboratory technician in university or medical research labs, or for graduate school in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology.

Like other biology majors, those in the biotechnology track, complete a rigorous core of basic science courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and math. Intermediate level work includes cell biology, genetics, and population biology. Advanced work focuses on techniques and areas of biology that are important in the biotechnology industry, including Biochemistry I, Microbiology, Immunology, Molecular Biology, and Bioinformatics. A sixth elective course may be chosen from Animal Physiology, Developmental Biology, Endocrinology, Histology, Biochemistry II, Neurobiology, and Plant Physiology. All intermediate and advanced courses include lab work.

Biotechnology companies strongly encourage undergraduates to acquire research experience and the Biology Department offers a variety opportunities for undergraduate research. Financially qualified students can gain basic research experience through the Work-Study Program. Off campus work experience can be incorporated into a research project for credit as Cooperative Study in Biology. Other students are supported by the National Science Foundation's Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. Qualified advanced students may undertake Independent Study in a faculty or off-campus lab, which may lead to graduation with honors.

Overview of the Biotechnology Track

The past decade has seen enormous growth in the biotechnology industry. Biotechnology utilizes molecular and cellular biological processes to make commercial products in a wide range of fields, from agriculture, health care, and organic chemistry, to environmental remediation. The Greater Boston area is one of the largest biotechnology centers in the world, with over 150 companies, that are predicted to create 20,000 new jobs by the end of the decade.

The University of Massachusetts Boston Biology Department is at the forefront of biotechnology education. Since the implementation of the Masters Program in Biotechnology and Biomedical Science in 1983, virtually all of the graduates of this program have gone on to careers in biotechnology research and development, or to advanced study. Our graduates are employed at Amgen, Amicon, Biogen, Ciba Corning, Costar, Damon, Genetics Institute, Gene Trak, Genzyme, ImmuLogic, CytoMed, ProCept, T-Cell Sciences, and many other companies. Others work at medical research labs at hospitals and universities, yet others have entered PhD and MD programs. Undergraduate training has recently been focused as a biotechnology track within the biology major.

Required Courses in the BS Biotechnology Track

Intermediate Level Courses

Advanced Courses

Qualification Courses for Entry-Level Positions in the Biotechnology Industry